‘Halloween Kills’ Is Gory, Thrilling Madness

Michael Myers is alive and he’s still out for blood. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), her daughter, Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) are in the bed of pickup truck, thinking that they’ve finally put the murderous Michael in a well-deserved a tinderbox. However, when sirens sound and fire trucks speed past, the trio is unsure if they’ve gotten their wish. Of course, in true horror film fashion, the infamous Michael has survived the trap that Laurie set up for him in the previous film and he is free to terrify the residents of Haddonfield.

In Halloween Kills, halloween is far from over and no one is safe from Michael’s violent torment. The Strode family and the people of Haddonfield are done being afraid and everyone bands together in an attempt to find and the elusive killer and put an end to him once and for all. But will the Strodes and all of Haddonfield be enough to stop Michael in his tracks? Well, you’ll just have to watch the film to find out.

Directed by David Gordon Green Halloween Kills is a violent, mayhem-filled trip down memory lane. As stated above, the film picks up right where the previous film leaves off and it’s not long before we are introduced to a group of new, but familiar faces. For those who are a fans of John Carpenter’s first film in the franchise (released back in 1978), you’ll likely be very happy to see some characters from the original movie back in their element in Haddonfield. Kyle Richards reprises her role as Lindsey Wallace, one of the children that Curtis’s Laurie Strode babysat in the 1978 movie, Nancy Stephens returns as Marion Chambers, the retired former assistant of Dr. Loomis, Charles Cyphers as Leigh Brackett, the former Sheriff of Haddonfield who was killed by Michael in the 1978 movie, and Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle (originally played by Brian Andrews in the 1978 film).

All of these role reprisals don’t just add to the nostalgia factor in Halloween Kills, but they show that Michael is on the hunt to eliminate those who remain from his first murder spree. Gordon Green and fellow writers Scott Teems and Danny McBride do a great job in crafting a town that is still in recovery from its past trauma. The 1978 events of Halloween in Haddonfield are not easily forgotten and for the residents that remain, the resurgence of Michael Myers triggers their deepest darkest fear. The writers were very aware of how to create an atmosphere full of fright that could easily shift into madness at any given moment. This is best explored when the people of Haddonfield decide they should take matters into their own hands.

What this does is show that Halloween Kills is much more than just your run-of-the-mill horror. Green, Teems and McBride do an excellent job of pointing the camera at several people, pivoting away from the monster we know as Michael Myers and showing the audience that sometimes, the monsters can be found within. The terrified townspeople have been trying to deal with their own trauma and at the same time, the mob mentality takes over and causes many Haddonfield residents to lash out and put themselves in danger. While the mob is not inherently as horrifying as Myers himself, it is something that strives to show viewers that not only Myers is prone to violent acts. All of this is made completely believable by the film’s stellar cast and showcases many of the actors at their bests.

Halloween Kills is a gruesome thrill ride with a huge kill count that is perfect for the halloween. However, where it shines is the intricacies of its story. It is not just a violent slasher flick (although I’d still love it if it was), but it provides compelling commentary on just what evil is, what it can become, and the potential that evil can reside within all of us. It was unexpected, sinister, and will leave viewers wondering what can possibly come next.

4/5